Friday, December 3, 2010

"Ode to the Goose"

Last Christmas Hillary bought me a book of Chinese poetry, which I could never read until now. Well, that overstates my abilities quite a bit. Almost all of it is still way beyond my understanding. Sunny's been teaching me a lot of characters lately, so tonight, curious, I picked up the book of poetry to see what I could get from it.

The very first poem, by 骆宾王 (Luò Bīnwáng, whose name took me twenty minutes to figure out the transliteration for), goes like this:
咏鹅 (Yǒng é)

鹅,鹅,鹅,曲项向天歌。(É, é, é, qū xiàng xiàng tiān gē.)
白毛浮绿水,红掌拨清波。(Bái máo fú lǚ shuǐ, hóng zhǎng bō qīng bō.)
which is a well-known poem, come to find out. I tried translating it myself:
Ode to the Goose

goose, goose, goose, neck bent, sings to the sky
white feathers float on green water, red feet stir clear waves

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